Photo Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TV Land
If you don't already love The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki, this might change your mind: On Thursday's The Talk, co-host Sara Gilbert shared an emotional secret about when she realized she was gay -- while she was dating Galecki. Only a very secure male would accept this news graciously, and not interpret it as a rejection. Luckily, Galecki was just that guy.
In the clip below, Gilbert, 38, made it clear that despite being openly gay for years, she still wrestles with how people perceive her. "I want people to know there can still be a struggle with it and that's okay," said Gilbert, who is engaged to singer/songwriter Linda Perry. "It's a process and there can be a part of you that doesn't want to feel different or feel scared."
She becomes visibly emotional when recalling those first years when she realized she was different. In the early '90s, when the teenaged Gilbert and Galecki were playing high school sweethearts Darlene and David on Roseanne, they also began dating off-camera. Here, she tells what happened:
Not only did Galecki accept Gilbert's sexuality, but he honored her wish to keep this potentially juicy piece of gossip to himself. Even when she began secretly dating a "woman who was like 18 years older than I was, who was also in the public eye," he didn't say a word to their castmates.
Gilbert notes that she asked Galecki first, before telling the Talk audience that she cried after making out with him. He gave her his blessing, and even offered to come on the show and hold her hand while she relayed what happened. "It was so sweet," she said, "and this story really makes Johnny look good." In fact, it almost makes you like Big Bang Theory's nerdy, well-meaning Leonard even more, now that you know the guy playing him is so open–minded and mature!
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.